Lion, the most majestic of all animals and the designated king of the animal kingdom by unanimity since thousands of years in different cultures across the globe is celebrated on 10th August every year on Lion’s day.
Royal, Proud, and Dignified are the words that get attached instinctively to the feline superstar. Unlike many of the lesser elites on planet fauna, a lion inspires awe in place of fear.
Gir in Gujarat is the only place in the world where the unique lion species, known as Asiatic lions survives today. Historically, it inhabited much of the Middle East to northern India. The lion sanctuary set up on the hunting grounds of the erstwhile nawab of Junagadh harbours 674 lions according to the 2020 census. It has increased by 25% in the last five years.
Parmal Nathwani, the Rajya Sabha member and an impassioned lover of the Gir lion habitat has been working for decades in coordination with the Government authorities for the awareness of wildlife in general and Gir and it’s lions in particular. He has made an eight-part documentary also on the subject.
World Lion Day was started in 2013 by passionate lion lovers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, a husband-and-wife team, bringing together both National Geographic and the Big Cat Initiative under a single banner.
The aim of celebrating world lion day is to protect the remaining Panthera Leo living in the wild. Lions roamed all over Africa and the Eurasian supercontinent, three million years ago. However, today, with various changes in the natural environment have resulted in their range being reduced primarily to Africa and select parts of Asia.
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, lions are a “vulnerable” species. If not taken care of, they may find themselves on the “endangered” list. As per a current estimate, there are between 30,000 and 100,000 lions left on planet Earth.
The lions are threatened by “trophy hunting”, a gruesome sport which is becoming increasingly popular among the rich and the humans usurping the space making a negative effect on the food sources. Over the last four decades, the lion population declined by fifty per cent.
Also Read: My Dream Is Going to Realise Soon. And That’s Me Living In My Sasan Gir House Amidst My Lion family: Parimal Nathwani